Friday, June 27, 2008

Send Me

Mars Hill’s Red Letter and Reach Records artists Lecrae and Tadashi perform the song ‘Send Me’ live at Mars Hill Church’s Ballard campus on June 22, 2008.

'Send Me' - Live at MHC | Ballard from Mars Hill Church on Vimeo.

Props: Mars Hill College

Guarding Your Time

Yesterday I had a coffee time with Dave Bruskas , pastor at City on a Hill Church here in Albuquerque, we were discussing managing our time with church ministry and family ministry. He pointed me to what Dr. John Piper does and implements in his church for the staff at Bethlelhem Church in Minnesota.

John Piper's model is great way to guard time and to help ensure that his family as his first ministry does not play second fiddle to his church ministry. This model really helped me and I hope to implement it starting today. Working at a church I have noticed 2 ditches we can fall in, 1. is the ditch of overwork, where we do not trust God and our pride takes over in thinking we have to do absolutely everything; and 2. where there is laziness and sloth in how we approach our job, where we treat ministry as a 40 hour work week and anymore is considered overtime and not acceptable. I think I fall into the sin of the first one. I hope his fence of time guarding proves to be helpful and good for my family. You can download this installment of "Ask Pastor John" here.

Here is his summary of the model he uses:

"One of the things we do at Bethlehem to try to protect our families and to nurture our wives and make them feel cared for is divide the week up into twenty-one blocks of time (modules). We get that by identifying three modules a day—morning to lunch, lunch to supper, and supper to bedtime—for the seven days of the week.

Then we tell our staff to take seven of those modules off. And three of them have to be in a row, equaling at least one full day off. So you have a day off and then four more modules to work with. It could be four evenings. And if you have to be out in the evenings, then you don't come in in the mornings."

J.R. Giddens and the Sovereignty of God

I would like to think that I had a part in helping J.R. see the sovereignty of God in all things which he talks about here in today's Boston Herald. I didn't, God I believe opened J.R.'s eyes and heart this past year and amazed this young man with His Amazing Grace.

Here is the Calvinistic Quote by Mr. Giddens:

"J.R. Giddens, an explosive, 6-foot-5 scorer from New Mexico, worked out for the Celtics twice Wednesday and impressed the staff enough to get picked last night in New York.

Giddens, whose involvement in a bar fight led to his transfer from Kansas to New Mexico in 2005, believes that experience is partly responsible in preparing him for his new role with the NBA champions.

“I feel like I’ve overcome all those things,” he said. “It helped to build the character that I have now. God does everything for a reason, and I believe he laid out this path for me now. I was a young guy, immature. I made a bad decision."
Ok I may be reading more into this quote, but J.R. was the only player in the draft that mentioned God last night and I thought that was cool.

Click Here for the Boston Hearld's Article on J.R.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

J.R. Heading to Boston

J.R. Giddens has been selected in the 1st round by the NBA Champion Boston Celtics. J.R. was the last selection in the 1st round which means for him a guaranteed 3 year contract and some great mentors in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, yeah he will learn a lot!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Amazing Grace

"God saves us by His grace and transforms us more and more into the likeness of His Son by His Grace. In all our trials and afflictions, He sustains and strengthens us by His grace. He calls us by
grace to perform our own unique function withing the Body of Christ. Then, again by grace, He gives to each of us the spiritual gifts necessary to fulfill our calling. As we serve Him, He makes that service acceptable to Himself by grace, and then rewards us a hundredfold by grace."
-Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace, pg. 169-170.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Dies...

The comedian George Carlin died yesterday, Carlin who often times was too profane for me was a witty and very smart comedian. Like all comedians Carlin often pointed out our societies pride, envy, ignorance, and greed in comedical and pointed ways. For me one of his best bits was on "Stuff" and how really our homes are just places we keep our stuff and we need bigger homes because we accumulate more stuff, if that is not the best way to describe the "American Dream" I do not know what is.

Here is a quote from CNN.COM:
Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, died of heart failure Sunday in Los Angeles, according to publicist Jeff Abraham. Carlin went into St. John's Health Center on Sunday afternoon, complaining of chest pain, and died at 5:55 p.m. PT.

Carlin performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and maintained a busy performing schedule, which included regular TV specials for HBO.

"He was a genius and I will miss him dearly," Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No, Not Six Flags or Disneyland...

It is Bible Park vs. Bible Park!
Kim Riddlebarger over on his blog writes this funny and sad news of what we in America are turning "The Word of the Cross" into, no wonder it is not folly to the world but now just amusement...

Now this is ironic. The owners of the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, FL (TBN) want to build another such themed park in Nashville, TN. Not to be outdone, a group of developers wants to build "Bible Park USA" in the same city. Since the Holy Land Experience offers a daily reenactment of the crucifixion, imagine the job boom in Nashville when two Bible theme parks start hiring thin, long-haired young men who look like Jesus and/or disciples. Can't you just picture the long line of big, swarthy types, auditioning to play Roman soldiers. This is gonna make it tough for the evangelicals in Nashville. Where to take the youth group? Which park does a better job reenacting Jesus' passion?

Click here for the story on these 2 parks

Props: Riddleblog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger Woods Out for Season

Tiger Woods played what was an ESPN Classic type match in this past week's U.S. Open where he went to a extra round to win the cup. This amazing weekend has now become even more amazing in light of the fact that Tiger was playing with a really missed up leg:

IMG released a statement saying the world No. 1 played at Torrey Pines with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a double stress fracture of the left tibia.

Woods may be the ONLY player right now to be mentioned in the same sentence as Michael Jordan as far as ability and rule over one sport. Here is what Tiger said about taking time off:

"Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee," Woods said.

Now knowing what Tiger was going through and still to win the championship in an extra round of golf, rates up there with Jordan's game 5 feat in the '97 Finals vs the Jazz where he played a great game leading the Bulls to victory while being terribly sick and weak from the flu.(Video Below)

With Tiger out for the season, this may mean that golf will not be as watched or followed until he returns.

Click Here for's Article on Tiger

Firefox 3 is legit

I just downloaded and installed the new Firefox 3 and it is sweet. It looks great and is fast and as always you can trust the quality that comes with Firefox!

Stop playing "Explorer" in the "Safari" and download Firefox today!

Click here to get Firefox 3

Monday, June 16, 2008

John Piper on How Not To Waste Your Cancer

Is it possible to waste your cancer, yes if we do not use all things good and bad for God's glory. After John Piper received word that he had prostrate cancer he wrote this, so he is not someone that is just saying this, but is saying it from the heart. I gave a list of the 10 ways he posted on how not to waste one's cancer, the article has further commentary on each point from both Dr. Piper and David Powlison a biblical counselor.

This subject is close to my heart and is not posted as only a theological, cerebral argument, but really in times when cancer comes Christ is all we have that is sure, that is eternal and that gives everlasting joy.

Click HERE for the whole article, it is well worth the read, and worth printing.

I write this on the eve of prostate surgery. I believe in God’s power to heal—by miracle and by medicine. I believe it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists. So not to pray for healing may waste your cancer. But healing is not God’s plan for everyone. And there are many other ways to waste your cancer. I am praying for myself and for you that we will not waste this pain.

1.You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.

2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.

3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.

4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.

5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.

6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.

7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.

8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.

9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.

10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

Taken from Desiring God

Global Warming? What Global Warming??

The founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman has an interesting take on the "Global Warming" frenzy that we are all a part of. In summary he tells us Chicken Littles that the sky is not falling and that Al Gore is the anti-Christ, ok maybe he does not take it that far but check it out, it is a thought provoking read. Here is a good quote:

"You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas. It is shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil fuels, particularly gasoline. All this big time science, international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats for the future; all of it, comes down to their claim that the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate of planet Earth. What an amazing fraud; what a scam."

Click Here for the whole article

Props: Challies

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ed Young and The Pastors of the Caribbean

This video can be related to Mark Driscoll's video a couple posts down about consumers. Ed Young is a pastor of a Mega-Church in the Dallas Area called Fellowship Church. This video has sparked lots of conversatons, check out Christianity Today who has gotten wind of it.


Props: ThinkChristian

Flooding in Iowa and the Sovereignty of God

Our worship leader Zach's former church in Iowa has been hit very hard due to the flooding. Scott Sterner the current worship minister there shares this hard and beautiful testimony of pain in loss, but trust in a Sovereign God during this time:

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Today at 3:30 pm, in the midst of continued fervent efforts, city officials informed us that last nights heavy rains will result in the Iowa River cresting on Tuesday at 35 feet. This will put river water close to roof level. Hearing the news was difficult. All hopes on saving our facility were lost and emergency evacuation began immediately.

It is difficult to loose a facility that was laced with so many meaningful memories over the last 9 years, but in many ways the loss generates a deeper appreciation for those things that matter most, namely our faith in the sovereign hand of God and our appreciation for the body of Christ. Fond memories of working side by side with my brothers and sisters in Christ over these last three days have been very rich. New friendships have been formed and a greater appreciation for the value of community has been cultivated.

Click Here for Scott's blog "Deo Gloria"

Keep Parkview Church in Iowa in your prayers, God is good and wise even when we do not understand the whys we must trust Him!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mark Driscoll Takes The Paddle Out On Consumers

Church consumers is such a big issue in America, we are filled with people who are afraid to commit and become members. I minister to college students who are probably the biggest offenders of this commitment phobia so often sadly it is students who were raised in the church that are the most flaky. I have spoken with students who seem so stoked to be committed one week just to run off to the "next" thing the following week. It may have a lot to do with our "Have It Your Way Right of Way" mindset we have been raised in, and also that we all are selfish sinners that want to be served rather than serve. We do not want to be challenged with doctrine and forbid it if we actually are to submit to elders and be willing to be under church discipline!

I firmly echo and agree what pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle says here:

The Cross

The Cross

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
He fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath,
Shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

A second look He gave, which said,
"I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayest live."

Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!

—John Newton

What a Way to Watch "End of the Spear"

Lauren and I stole sometime last night to sit down and watch a movie from our Netflix queue called "End of the Spear". This movie is about the Waodani tribe that Jim Elliott and Nate Spain are known for reaching in Central America and the interactions that follow their death. The movie follows Mincayani, who seems to be the leader of this tribe.

I say "seems" because a lot of this movie is done in native tounge, and unless you have subtitles you have no idea what is being said. Our DVD came to us without the subtitles being turned on and Lauren and I not knowing you had to turn them on to understand half of what was being said watched the movie without these subtitles. It made for at times a very confusing movie, but knowing the background to the story it was so moving. We were able to feel the true emotion of the tribe and missionaries that could have been lost if we were just focused in on reading the words on the screen. If you do not know the background story, do not watch it like we mistakingly did otherwise the purpose and drive of the gospel will be lost.

This movie has excited my heart for sharing the gospel in Albuquerque as well as in other countries. All I could think about was John Piper and his push for Sacrificial living for the Gospel, the missionaries in this movie and real life displayed this. Not just the men who were speared to death but the wives who could have gone back to the United States and the comfort of Sunday Church, potlucks and suburbs, they stayed, they ministered, because (speculation) the gospel and Jesus Christ was that much of treasure they had to share it with this tribe. I am hoping within the next year to be flying to a couple of different countries to see how "The Well" Desert Springs Church's College ministry can serve and send out students for short term and long term trips. One of these countries is not friendly to the gospel and is filled with Muslims, this movie excited my heart to be challenged to forsake safety and life it God seems fit for the sake of making Christ look beautiful and the treasure He is.

What I could do though is wait till these trips and waste the 95% of my time here in Albuquerque being comfortable. Albuquerque is my mission field right NOW and I pray by God's Grace alone not to waste this time and to be bold and risky with the sharing of this news that is the only hope for tribes in Ecuador and Muslims in Africa and Suburbanites in Albuquerque.

I really recommend you add "End of the Spear" to your Netflix queue or buy it here

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bye, Bye Strahan

Michael Strahan who many argue may have been the best defensive player ever for the NY Giants (maybe just after L.T) has decided to retire. The timing was a good one, as this past season was one for the ages, being the Cinderella team that shocked the world. It will be weird not to see Strahan out there come September but it was fun while it lasted!!

Click here for more of Strahan's retirement

Review of Introducing PostModernism

To say that “Introducing Postmodernism” by Richard Appignanesi and Chris Garratt was one of the most unique and stylistically interesting books I have ever read would be a huge understatement. This book is in many ways a history book on a subject that almost refuses to have a history, Postmodernism. The book is put together like a giant comic book of some sorts with cartoons illustrating the points and definitions. It was broken up in 3 sections dealing with the rise of postmodern art, theory and history. It became quite apparent that there was much overlap of these three subjects that linked the whole ideology of postmodernism.
I have never been more surprised with how challenging a book was then by this piece. At first glance I thought I would breeze through it and be done with it relatively quickly and easily, I was wrong. This book challenged the way I think through subjects that I have not studied before. I found myself reading and re-reading sections, I actually had to read through the whole 1st section about Postmodern Art 2 times and still do not really feel I grasp what was said. I often found myself frustrated with the book as I would want a black and white definition that many times was not offered, which after finishing the book may be the whole point. As I did start to get through this book I started to see that the way the book was structured was becoming more assessable to me and in many ways it started to open up to me. This book has provided many lights into the culture where I currently am engaged in ministry.
I currently oversee my church’s college ministry and spend a few of my days each week on the campus of the University of New Mexico a school with an enrollment of 35,000. Much of my time on campus at UNM is spent in prayer for the people of the campus and also in studying the atmosphere and attitudes of the people there. This book in a lot of ways was a textbook to the lab I have when I step foot on the campus. I see people walking around refusing to think in absolute terms and molding their beliefs around barely recognizable structures of religion and social systems. This book has in a lot of ways given what I saw before some history and understanding into how we got here. Although I believe it is in the last few chapters that the current flow of our culture is most apparent.
I agree with the idea the authors bring up, that Postmodernism is not a new thing, but just an extension of Modernism. I see this in how quickly much of culture is moving from a Post modernistic mindset back to a Romantic one. Romanticism was what the book said would be the only thing that would kill off Postmodernism and I think we are seeing it. The rise of books such as “The Secret” and “The New Earth” that Oprah seems so passionate about show a move towards a Gnostic, transcendental, spiritual realm that is a characteristic of romanticism.
As a believer, I see us in a world that is constantly searching for something to satisfy its’ soul. There is no stability or constant that anyone can hold onto and “new” things rise up that are really not new at all. For us we must understand these “new” trends and ideologies in order to point people to where these things fail and are really broken cisterns. Only by studying do we see its’ cracks and flaws that enable us to show the only news that is constant, that does not change, that offers hope our world is so desperate to find, The Gospel.

You can purchase "Introducing Postmodernism" Here

Monday, June 09, 2008

NBA Finals Kickin It Ole School

In honor of Z's pic of the short shorts from the 80's I have added this cool new promo for the NBA Finals. Although Jordan is not here, having Magic and Bird is pretty stinkin sweet!

Mark Driscoll On Religion, Oprah and the New Spirituality..

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle shows how Religion and Oprah are big piles of !!!! in the sight of God.

Will My Generation Have This Kind Of Perseverance?

I live in a generation of IPods, ITunes, Instant Messages, and super fast...well everything. I have found that I have become more and more impatient with everything that is not instant and have also found that I am not alone in these frustrations. John Piper shares a story of remarkable and almost today sadly unthinkable patience and perseverance, oh may I repent of my "instant, here and now" mentality!

In his book, Passion, Karl Olsson tells a story of incredible patience among the early French Protestants called Huguenots.

In the late Seventeenth Century in… southern France, a girl named Marie Durant was brought before the authorities, charged with the Huguenot heresy. She was fourteen years old, bright, attractive, marriageable. She was asked to abjure the Huguenot faith. She was not asked to commit an immoral act, to become a criminal, or even to change the day-to-day quality of her behavior. She was only asked to say, “J’abjure.” No more, no less. She did not comply. Together with thirty other Huguenot women she was put into a tower by the sea…. For thirty-eight years she continued…. And instead of the hated word J’abjure she, together with her fellow martyrs, scratched on the wall of the prison tower the single word Resistez, resist!

The word is still seen and gaped at by tourists on the stone wall at Aigues-Mortes…. We do not understand the terrifying simplicity of a religious commitment which asks nothing of time and gets nothing from time. We can understand a religion which enhances time…. but we cannot understand a faith which is not nourished by the temporal hope that tomorrow things will be better. To sit in a prison room with thirty others and to see the day change into night and summer into autumn, to feel the slow systemic changes within one’s flesh: the drying and wrinkling of the skin, the loss of muscle tone, the stiffening of the joints, the slow stupefaction of the senses—to feel all this and still to persevere seems almost idiotic to a generation which has no capacity to wait and to endure. (116-117)

Props: Desiring God

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Back From Mexico

This past week I was in Mexico with The Well and Paradox DSC's college and mid/high/parent ministries on a mission/conference/camp week. I was great/fantastic/exhausting. Here are a couple of pics I got from one of our students (Thanks Torres!)

More on this trip to come...